Tesla stock has managed to stage a modest rebound this morning after reporting that, as Elon Musk leaked previously, it had produced just over 2,000 Model 3 cars in the last week, which while still well below the company’s own prior guidance of 2,500/week (which in turn was 5,000/week before that), was better than the Street’s worst estimates as low as the mid-1000’s.
The bounce, however, is merely a dead cat according to JPMorgan’s equity derivatives strategists, who write that TSLA shares “may be unable to escape a continued sell-off as a confluence of unfortunate events may seal its fate regardless of Q1 production results.”
As a result of this fatalistic view, JPMorgan is recommending clients purchase TSLA June 100 strike puts for $2.01, indicatively ($252.48 reference price), as the bank believes “the market is underpricing TSLA tail risk.”
Furthermore, as JPM’s Shawn Quigg adds, “a shift in sentiment in both the equity and debt markets the past two weeks may have altered the reward-risk dynamic of the stock, making any debt refinancing potentially more difficult and more expensive, particularly when considering TSLA capex guidance.”
JPMorgan lays out the following disturbing rationale for the crash short:
TSLA is down 19.5% over the past two weeks as a confluence of negative events weighs on sentiment ahead of its Q1 production results.
Factors weighing on the stock include growing concerns that Q1 production results could disappoint, both Uber and Tesla having fatal car accidents, NVDA and Toyota announcing the suspension of their autonomous driving programs,
Moody’s downgrading TSLA debt on concerns of lower than expected Q1 production results, and a broader weakness in Technology stocks. TSLA bonds are trading significantly lower following the Moody’s downgrade, as concerns mount about the company’s ability to grow its way out of future financial difficulty given its high cash burn, near-term debt maturities, heavy debt load and capex guidance.